The Legend of Barney Thomson ***

UK/ Director Robert Carlyle/ 93mins
Synopsis: When a series of disappearances occur in Glasgow, the police turn their attention to a local barber.


The film begins in a barber’s shop near Glasgow Green where Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle) has been working for the last twenty years. Despite his commitment, Barney lacks personality and is usually the customers’ last choice. When people start disappearing from his local area, Barney quickly attracts the attention of Detective Inspector Holdall (Ray Winstone) and his sidekick MacPherson (Kevin Guthrie).

The story appears promising initially but becomes more and more ridiculous as it progresses. While there are moments of good comedy and interesting characters, the basic story is weak and lacks any real structure.

While the writers attempt a few twists, these are likely to be anticipated and not come as huge surprises. Their final attempt to shock the audience seems bizarre and unbelievable and doesn’t really work.

Despite this, the performances are strong and save the movie from being a complete disaster. Carlyle is enjoyable and comic as the lead character while Emma Thompson is amusing and believable as an older Glasgow woman. Ray Winstone performs well and James Cosmo is a good supporting cast member.

The film was pleasant enough to watch, but would likely have been terrible without its gold standard group of cast members. Overall it was disappointing.

Reviewed by Lesley Logan


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